Conference offers training for crop advisers and farmers
Farmers and certified crop advisers who attend Ohio State University's Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference this year will have several opportunities to hear from nationally known experts in the field of soil conservation, nutrient management and water quality.
The conference, which will be held March 6-7 at the McIntosh Center of Ohio Northern University in Ada, is anticipated to attract more than 400 CCAs from throughout the Midwest and will offer sessions that focus on cover crops, no-till systems and precision agriculture. Also offered will be Corn University and Soybean School.
The conference also will feature a presentation from Jill Clapperton, a nationally known rhizosphere ecologist, who will speak during the opening general session on Healthy Soil for Higher Yields, said Randall Reeder, a recently retired Ohio State University Extension agricultural engineer and an organizer of the conference.
Crop consultants can earn continuing education credits while farmers will learn more about the benefits of switching to continuous no-till and how to do it successfully, he said, especially significant after a year that has seen record rainfalls during the spring and fall.
"Farmers will learn the benefits for water quality of adopting continuous no-till with good management of inputs, especially nitrogen and phosphorus," Reeder said. "If farmers adopt continuous no-till and other practices like cover crops, crop rotations and controlled traffic, they will build up soil quality which will lead to higher yields."
This year's conference will host more than 60 presenters who will speak on a wide range of topics from eco-farming to managing drainage water to cover crop mixtures. Presenters include speakers from several universities, farmers and industry representatives.
The Ohio Crop Consultant of the Year will be named and recognized during the opening session, Reeder said.
A soil quality workshop will be held March 5-6 in conjunction with the conference and will feature a Train-the-Trainer program to teach soil quality management. It will be useful also for crop consultants and farmers who want to learn more about agricultural soil quality and how to improve it, Reeder said. The workshop is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SARE).
The Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference is sponsored by OSU Extension, the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Northwest Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Ohio No-Till Council.
The full schedule and registration information can be found at http://ctc.osu.edu . Participants may register online or by mail. Registration for the full conference is $80 (or $60 for one day) if received by Feb. 24. Information is also available in county offices of OSU Extension.